Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Remains one of the roomiest city cars
  • In the front it feels like a bigger car
  • Rear seat space tighter than petrol versions

There's the merest of compromises when it comes to space inside the e-Up given the way that the batteries have been packaged.

Unlike on most battery electric vehicles (BEVs) where the cells are under the whole floor, with the Volkswagen and its SEAT Mii Electric and Skoda Citigo-e cousins, it's primarily under the rear seats and boot. In real terms this means that headroom is reduced slightly compared with the petrol-engined Ups, but given it's predominantly children ferried around in the back, it's not going to be especially noticeable for anyone but the tallest adults. Fitting four people into it isn't going to pose much a problem, and five doors makes access to the back a doddle.

Silver 2020 Volkswagen e-Up rear seats

Up front, the e-Up feels like a much larger car, feeling pleasantly roomy - there's little sense that you get in rival cty cars where you're physically close to your front seat passenger.

Usefully, there's a decent amount of storage space around the cabin for odds and ends, but VW has scrimped on cupholders, with one ahead of the automatic gearlever, the other at the back of the centre console behind the handbrake. The most baffling aspects are the door bins in the rear doors which are so shallow they're next to useless.

Given the e-Up's dinky dimensions which make it so easy to use in tight, urban confines, its boot is suprisingly capacious. With the rear seats in place there's 251 litres of space, which is deep rather than long, but this can be extended to 923 litres by folding the rear seats over. Somewhat inexplicably, given it's a four-seater, the rear bench is split 60:40 rather than a more logical 50:50 arrangement.

Silver 2020 Volkswagen e-Up boot with rear seats partially folded

There's also a useful slot in the boot floor, just inside the tailgate, for storing charging cables.

Safety rating has slipped

Originally the Up was celebrated for being a sturdy, compact car with its full five-star crah test rating from the gurus at Euro NCAP. However, this was downgraded in 2019 to a far less rosy three-star score.

All isn't necessarily as bad as it seems. Euro NCAP has made its test more stringent and yes, Volkswagen's decided to remove the option of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which contributed to the previous high score. However, the e-Up's strong physical structure remains as before, as evidenced by its 81% score for adult occupant protection and 83% for child occupants - very impressive for such a small package.

While all Ups are fitted with hill-hold assist and electronic stability control software, the e-Up also features cruise control, automatic lights, parking sensors front and rear, a reversing camera - albeit with a tiny display screen on the dashboard - and a sound generator to make pedestrians aware of your otherwise silent presence.

Watch: Volkswagen e-Up Euro NCAP crash test video

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Volkswagen e-Up Hatchback.

  • ABS
  • Alloy wheels
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Folding rear seats
  • Service indicator
  • Sports seats
  • Steel wheels

E-Up equipment

E-Up standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
E-Up optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Folding rear seats
  • Service indicator
  • Sports seats
  • Steel wheels
Find out more about all electric cars here

Euro NCAP Rating – 3 stars

The Volkswagen e-Up Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded a 3 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

3 star rating
Test 2019
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 81%
Child Occupant: 83%
Vulnerable Road Users: 46%
Safety Assist: 55%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.